Could the Empire of iTunes be about to fall? An alliance that will try to do just that has been announced between MTV and Microsoft, who are to provide a new online offering called Urge. To be launched on Wednesday of this week, Urge can be integrated with the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Media Player and will utilise a pricing model that is based on both Apple iTunes and the monthly subscriptions offered by services such as Napster. Users will be able to download songs for a monthly subscription of $9.95 for computers and $14.95 for MP3 players. Additionally, users can also buy tracks for download at the same price as iTunes, 99c or Albums for $9.95. MTV and Microsoft say that, at launch, Urge will have more than 2 million tracks available, which as far as I know is equal to iTunes' catalogue.

Could this be the iTunes killer that we have all been wondering might come along? Microsoft has a habit of moving into established sectors and completely taking them over (like Web browsing), so could Urge signal the beginning of the end for iTunes in terms of market dominance? Could iTunes become another Netscape?

Needless to say, iTunes and Urge are completely incompatible with each other.